Mid-Ohio: TRG qualifying report

TRG Puts Four in Top 11 in Qualifying at Mid-Ohio Lexington, Ohio, (June 19, 2009) - TRG qualified all four of their Porsche GT cars in the top 11 for tomorrow's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series EMCO Gears Classic at the...

TRG Puts Four in Top 11 in Qualifying at Mid-Ohio

Lexington, Ohio, (June 19, 2009) - TRG qualified all four of their Porsche GT cars in the top 11 for tomorrow's running of the Grand-Am Rolex Series EMCO Gears Classic at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Justin Marks led the charge with a fifth place effort this afternoon.

Under threatening skies the qualifying session at the 2.2-mile picturesque road course located just north of Columbus was interrupted by a black flag period, limiting the number of laps the competitors had to turn top times.

Justin Marks put in a time of 1:27.015, good for a fifth place starting position, his best effort of the year. Marks is teamed with multi-time Grand-Am champion Andy Lally in the No. 67 Construct Corps/Kartel Motorsports/No Fear Energy Drinks/Voodoo Ride/K1 Speed/Gemstone Winery/TRG Porsche GT3.

"It was just OK," Marks said. "We made some changes for qualifying after practice that didn't quite work the way I thought they would. We were just a little bit too tight to get a really good lap. But it is the best starting position of the year for the No. 67 Porsche since the Rolex 24 so that is good. We are right up there in the thick of the battle and the good news is that we have a very consistent car, so we will have the luxury of sitting back a little bit at the beginning of the race and see how much everybody else is using up their equipment. It is a good starting position, I just wish we were a little bit faster. We have two Porsches on the front row that are very fast. Hopefully they are setup for the short run and we can catch them during the race."

John Potter posted an eighth place run in qualifying with a time of 1:27.925. Potter is partnered with Craig Stanton in the No. 65 Magnus Racing/TRG Porsche GT3.

"I think it went really well," Potter said. "Fortunately I was able to get a good lap in at the end after the black flag brought us in. It was the fastest lap of the weekend so that is always good when that happens in qualifying. Our car has been getting better all the time so I am excited for the race because I think we are going to good places. The skies were incredibly ominous so when we went out there the idea was to just get in laps early."

Duncan Ende had the honors of qualifying the No. 66 AXA/Wealth Management Strategies/TRG Porsche GT3. Ende put in a lap of 1:28.281 which will see him start ninth. Ende joins Spencer Pumpelly who is currently second in the GT point standings.

"Qualifying went reasonably well," Ende said. "I am still getting a feel for the car and we missed the morning session. Even though it was wet that would have been a little bit of time I could have used to get used to the car. We have a pretty good position to start the race tomorrow so it should be a good day. You could see how hard the trees were being blown around and the really dark clouds, I was ready for it to really come down, but it never really affected the track. It rained a little bit when we went back out but the track was still fast."

Josemanuel Gutierrez put the No. 68 Cohen Financial/Intercity Lines/TRG Porsche on fifth row in qualifying with a time of 1:29.185. Gutierrez is teamed with professional driver Scott Schroeder.

"This is typical Mid-Ohio," Gutierrez said. "The storm was coming so we all hurried out to do our best lap before anything happened. That was what we did and after the third lap there was a black flag and the track felt a little bit slippery, at least for me, so it was hard to improve on the time we had in the beginning. There was pressure to go fast quickly and I didn't do my best lap, but I did ok. I am pretty happy with the result."

Team owner Kevin Buckler will be flying in for the race tomorrow from the NASCAR Sprint Cup weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. He is very satisfied with the way qualifying went at Mid-Ohio.

"Once again the weather at Mid-Ohio will be a factor all weekend," Buckler said. "The guys practiced in the wet and then qualified in the dry, which makes it tricky to the get the setup just right. Justin did a great job putting in his best effort of the season. John Potter has really come on these last three race weekends and is getting faster every lap. Duncan Ende has stepped into the 66 with Spencer and is doing a great job. Josemanuel needed one more lap to get in the top ten, but also put in a solid effort like he always does. He is our Iron Man! It will be an interesting race tomorrow and I am flying all night to get there and help in any way I can."

The EMCO Gears Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will be run late Saturday, taking the green at 5:00 p.m. ET and will be televised live on the SPEED Channel.

-credit: trg

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About this article
Series Grand-Am
Drivers Kevin Buckler , Andy Lally , Justin Marks , Spencer Pumpelly , Craig Stanton , Duncan Ende , Scott Schroeder , John Potter